Friday, 04 March 2016
Phil Mickelson  (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson (Getty Images)

A front-nine birdie burst fired Phil Mickelson to the top of the leaderboard on day two of the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship.

The American has not won since he claimed his ninth European Tour title at The Open Championship in 2013, but spoke after an opening 67 at Trump National Doral of a new-found confidence in his recent play.

And he certainly looked like a man on top of his game on Friday as four birdies in a row from the fifth hole got him to nine under at the turn, two shots clear of Australian Adam Scott.

Englishman Paul Casey and American duo Charley Hoffman and Bubba Watson were then a further shot back, with World Number Three Rory McIlroy on a charge of his own in the group at five under.

The Race to Dubai champion opened birdie-bogey but then matched Mickelson's run of gains from the fifth to turn in 32.

Danny Willett, who finished second to McIlroy on The European Tour standings in 2015, was also at five under after playing his first nine holes in 35 strokes.

The Englishman had hit the front on his own thanks to a birdie-birdie start but bogeys on the sixth and ninth sandwiched a further gain on the eighth as Mickelson pulled away.

Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson was in the group at four under after 12 holes, with Andy Sullivan at the same mark through nine alongside Americans Billy Horschel, Harris English, Scott Piercy and Jimmy Walker.

Australian Marcus Fraser and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger were then in the group at three under, a shot clear of Jamie Donaldson, Anirban Lahiri, Russell Knox, Chris Wood and World Number One Jordan Spieth.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCOTT, AdamAUS18-12
2WATSON, BubbaUSA18-11
T3WILLETT, DannyENG18-10
T3MCILROY, RoryNIR18-10
5MICKELSON, PhilUSA18-9
6WALKER, JimmyUSA18-8

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